Translation of the above

{377}
WHAT Attic Terence wrote of old for Rome,
We in our northern accents lisp tonight;
What heathen Terence spoke to heathen ears,
We speak with Christian tongues to Christian
        men:
Doing the while this service to the Bard,
That the rare beauty of his classic wit
We by our pruning make more beautiful.

O happy art, which Terence never knew,
But they have learned, who aim in every thing
To choose the good, and pass the evil by!
These, as they pace the tangled path of life,
Cleanse from this earth its earthly dross away,
And clothe it with a pure supernal light.

Neighbours and friends, what I have more to
        say,—
It is not much,— concerns our actors here, {378}
Fresh tender souls, and palpitating hearts,
Boys, who, tho' boys, essay the parts of men,
And are the first within this Catholic fold
To represent a classic comedy.
Be kind,—they strive with no inglorious aim;
Where they do well, applaud; and, if in aught
They shall come short, be mild and merciful.

Prologue enough; let Davus enter now,
And lend his ear, while Geta tells his tale.

The Oratory
.
1864.

 

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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